When you’re running an e-commerce store, every channel matters when it comes to driving traffic that converts. Brand awareness is important, but will only get an online business so far.
Email marketing is a favorite in marketers’ toolkits for its ability to build customer rapport and increase sales. This is because email, unlike other marketing channels, is a direct communication line to customers already interested in a brand. Subscribers have intentionally signed up to receive your emails. And if they’re opening them, they clearly want to engage.
But getting to this point doesn’t happen by accident, or overnight. It takes time and the right strategies to build an email list for your e-commerce store. Still, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as some want to make it.
Here are a few ways you can build an email list for your e-commerce store.
Use a Tool to Capture Emails
If you’ve visited a website recently, you’ve probably seen a pop-up asking for your email address. If you have, chances are the message attempts to berate you into giving yours (e.g., “Yes I want to receive updates on all things digital marketing” or “No, I’m not interested in sharpening my skill set”). This is just one example of the many email-capture pop-ups that brands are using to turn site visitors into email subscribers.
Whether you try to collect emails through subtle bullying or lead with a straightforward ask, implementing popups and slide-ins is essential to building your list quickly. Plenty of different tools exist to capture emails, but you first need to decide what style you want to leverage. Do you want to show a form when the user attempts to leave the page or when they first land on it? Perhaps you want to display a form when the user’s been on the page for a certain amount of time or have scrolled a certain percentage of the page. The choice is yours, and you’ll likely need to experiment a bit to find out what works best for your store. If you’re using a hosted e-commerce site such as Shopify, you have a variety of website themes available that complement an email-capture tool. Aesthetically pleasing store designs give a brand more credibility while communicating trust to the user. Both are important before asking for that coveted email address.
Collect Emails in Your Checkout
Whether you’re trying to improve the customer experience, increase your average order value or gain more email subscribers, the checkout process plays a pivotal role. Your checkout process, by nature, is full of bottom-of-the-funnel users. There’s no more advantageous time to collect emails than when customers are in the process of buying from you.
This doesn’t mean you should require every customer to create an account (you shouldn’t). However, you do need to make it as easy as possible for anyone interested to submit their email. That means making the ‘create an account’ option prominent and enticing.
Include simple copy that conveys a faster checkout for store accounts and you’ll persuade many shoppers to sign up on the spot. For users who aren’t sure if they’ll buy from you again, tempt them to sign up for your newsletter with the allure of the promotions, special offers and quality content they’ll receive.
Create an Awesome Resource for Download (a.k.a Lead Magnet)
Put yourself in a prospective user’s shoes: would you sign up for a mailing list purely for promotions? If you’re already an advocate of the brand, probably. But if you’re on the fence about the company or haven’t had enough interactions to know if the relationship will be a long-term thing, you’d likely want more of an incentive to give your email address. This is where the ‘content is king’ mantra comes into play. The virtues of content marketing have been praised for years as a boon to every level of the sales funnel. Capturing email addresses is no different.
When was the last time you signed up for an email newsletter from an unknown company? If you did, it was likely because they had a helpful resource available for download. You can do the same thing for your e-commerce store. Ebooks and whitepapers are two popular mediums offering unique value to all sorts of visitors, but countless options exist. Create a resource that solves problems, and you’re sure to heighten your brand awareness and multiply your email list.
There are plenty of ways to capture email addresses for your e-commerce store. But when you’re just starting out, you may as well start with the basics and branch out from there. Put careful thought into implementing the above strategies, and you’re sure to see your email list matriculate. Once the addresses start rolling in is when the real fun begins.